Tutorial and Information Requests

If you feel like you're up to the challenge of building your own Ages in Blender or 3ds Max, this is the place for you!

Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Deledrius » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:29 am

asimov wrote:Hello, I am new here, so please excuse my noobness.
I have experience with 3d modeling using cinema 4d and would like to help with the building of anything anybody needs help with. I see you use blender or 3dsm for this purpose. Am i just out of luck?

You can model in whatever program you like, but the export tools that directly output to the game engine only support Blender and 3DSMax, so you'll need to use one of those two as an intermediate step in Age creation. Basically, create what you want in Cinema4D, export to a standard format that Blender or 3DSMax supports, and arrange the Age there and export it to the game. A bit indirect, but it will work.

If you're just creating objects for others to use, you won't need to worry about those last steps. Just provide the models in a generic standard format and others will be able to benefit! :)
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Tweek » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:11 am

Hmm there are a few tutorials I'd like to see.

Wavesets - I'd like to see this fleshed out more, perhaps with some examples of different wavesets to help people tweak what they need in their Ages (perhaps alcscript settings for big ocean wavesets, small ponds, choppy seas, calm lakes..etc)

Alcscript - I'd like to see more indepth guides on alcscript. A lot of tutorials go "if you want to do X then this is your code" which doesn't help me at all. I need to learn what the code means how it interacts with each other how I can add to it myself.

Puzzle tutorials - I'd actually like to see some 'stock' tutorials for creating basic puzzle elements ("how to create an Age with journey cloths" kind of thing) I think this would help with having more people introducing interactive elements to their fan content.

Tutorial for setting up notes and maps would also be nice

That's all I can think of off of the top of my head.
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Sirius » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:18 pm

Wavesets: a list of presets taken from Cyan's Ages would be a great idea. But as for a description of each parameters: I don't think anyone knows what they stand for.
Regardless, the list would be of a great help.

Alcscript: problem is, it's too close to the inner workings of PRPs, resulting in messy scripts. There is no real documentation either - the only way to understand AlcScript is to have a look at the code in PyPRP.
Before writing simple tutorials to using AlcScript, a good idea would be to provide more quickscripts. These quickscripts can hide really long code in just a few lines, meaning it would be more simple to use them.

Puzzle tutorials: same problem as with AlcScript in general. Although quickscripts might be able to help with it as well.
The issue is that puzzles very often require Python scripts and SDLs. These usually need to be written by hand.
So it would be limited to a few pre-made scripts like xAgeSDLBoolRespond, xAgeSDLIntResp, (or whatever they are called) - plus, scripts for popup maps and notes. Well, it may not be much, but I think these are good basic building blocks.


So yeah, I think it would be worth adding more quickscripts. We can't get rid of the tedious AlcScript, but at least we can hide it behind a few convenient lines of code :P

(the only problem is, who is "we" ? There are few builders left and even fewer coders - who don't have time for ol'PyPRP1).
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Deledrius » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:28 pm

Consolidating topics...
(Since no one else is tackling these)

Tweek wrote:Wavesets - I'd like to see this fleshed out more, perhaps with some examples of different wavesets to help people tweak what they need in their Ages (perhaps alcscript settings for big ocean wavesets, small ponds, choppy seas, calm lakes..etc)


Sirius wrote:Wavesets: a list of presets taken from Cyan's Ages would be a great idea. But as for a description of each parameters: I don't think anyone knows what they stand for.


We've actually have this really well-documented by a Cyantist thanks to an article in GPU Gems (and have the code for the plugin, too -- but that thing's a mess). It should be doable to write up a nice, user-friendly description of the known pieces and how to use them. The current page is very cursory and AlcScript-focused. I'll try to put something together to improve/replace the existing page. I can't say I understand the internals perfectly, but I think I can manage what's necessary for an artist's tutorial.


Tweek wrote:Alcscript - I'd like to see more indepth guides on alcscript. A lot of tutorials go "if you want to do X then this is your code" which doesn't help me at all. I need to learn what the code means how it interacts with each other how I can add to it myself.


Sirius wrote:Alcscript: problem is, it's too close to the inner workings of PRPs, resulting in messy scripts. There is no real documentation either - the only way to understand AlcScript is to have a look at the code in PyPRP.
Before writing simple tutorials to using AlcScript, a good idea would be to provide more quickscripts. These quickscripts can hide really long code in just a few lines, meaning it would be more simple to use them.


It would be hard to write anything general on AlcScript without going in-depth on every single element (which, obviously, is kinda necessary for it to be useful). That's why there's been a constant push to move away from it entirely. As Sirius says, it's basically just a recipe given to the exporter on all of the non-geometry parts that go into creating the Plasma objects. Quite literally everything in PyPRP is ad-hoc, including the AlcScript definitions for each thing. The interface that libHSPlasma provides is a lot more consistent, but PyPRP2/Korman which both use it are unfinished.

The only way to document AlcScript is to list out all the possible options on every possible object type, which might be great as a reference (except when it becomes out of sync with the code -- less of an issue currently as the project lies mostly dormant), but not great for learning either. The rest of AlcScript and how things interact comes down to understanding a lot of how Plasma works internally and which objects are needed where and why. Only a few people truly understand that stuff (my knowledge of that is, I think, somewhere in the middle). The 3DSMax plugin hides a lot of this, PyPRP hides almost none and requires the artist to do the work which would ideally be handled either by a task-focused interface or the exporter logic.

If you make specific requests though, it might be possible to address them individually, and as Sirius says, QuickScripts can be written (and documented) that makes the common cases dead simple.


Tweek wrote:Puzzle tutorials - I'd actually like to see some 'stock' tutorials for creating basic puzzle elements ("how to create an Age with journey cloths" kind of thing) I think this would help with having more people introducing interactive elements to their fan content.


Sirius wrote:Puzzle tutorials: same problem as with AlcScript in general. Although quickscripts might be able to help with it as well. The issue is that puzzles very often require Python scripts and SDLs. These usually need to be written by hand.
So it would be limited to a few pre-made scripts like xAgeSDLBoolRespond, xAgeSDLIntResp, (or whatever they are called)


That's a good idea. Can you provide a list of stock elements you'd like to have priority? "Age with Journey Cloths", etc. I've been working (slowly, intermittently) on a more ambitious tutorial series, but doing some piecemeal mini-tutorials on these specific things might be a good exercise. I think the basic structure of how and where to find the necessary information can be done, even if a lot will need to be left to the Age writer.


Tweek wrote:Tutorial for setting up notes and maps would also be nice


I think those can be done with the current PyPRP, and tutorials shouldn't be hard to create for them. I assume by maps you mean like the Ae'gura one in the courtyard (as it's like the single-page notes)?



So, in summary:

  • Click-to-inspect single-image Notes and Maps.
  • Puzzle Tutorial: "Age with Journey Cloths", others pending.
  • Wavesets: (Including such classics as "What Are These Settings?", "How Do I Accomplish Specific Bodies of Water?", and "Who is this Mark Finch Person Anyway?").
  • All of AlcScript.

Let me know what else should go on the Puzzle list and which aspects of AlcScript should get focus first.
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Nev'yn » Sat May 30, 2015 2:32 pm

(Nev's Note: I am not a computer person.)

I know something Doobes and I need are functional lights in our light garden...
...plus our hood's Eder will also have a light puzzle to solve, similar but slightly more expansive then the old Bevin one.

Just thought I should toss it out.
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Tweek » Sat May 30, 2015 3:12 pm

Yeah I had trouble with lights in Fehrehmto too.

I believe Sirrus' new plugin handles animated lights (although that's for a new version of Blender IIRC).
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Doobes » Sun May 31, 2015 9:32 am

Yes, projection lights. I've been unable to get them to fade in and out properly like in the light gardens in the hoods. They do, however, respond to VisRegions and I've been able to get them to move as well, although it looks a bit pixelated when it does. I've tried several types of animations for the lights and none translate over. I'm guessing this is something that PyPRP hasn't implemented yet.

I've written a couple of tutorials myself (imagers and GZ beam) and would love to help clean up some of the existing ones with what I've learned over the years. Wasn't sure where to start, but this topic should help. :)
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Tweek » Sun May 31, 2015 1:57 pm

Just whilst we're on the topic of lights, I've been trying to get a lamp to change colour when triggered from blue to orange, is this currently supported? I've not had any luck thus far.
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby dendwaler » Sun May 31, 2015 11:33 pm

yes, its possible to switch between two different layers within one material by animating ipo curves.

The animation can be triggered by an event.
You can for example animate the " col" slider in the "map to" area.

Once i gave you an example of journey clothes.
there is done the same with two textures.
the second lits up for a short time when it is touched.

If you look into that file , study the ipo curve of the used material.

I will try to make another example, may be later this day i will post it here as a small blend file.
i only need some time to make it.
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Re: Tutorial and Information Requests

Postby Tweek » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:44 am

I'll take a look at that, thanks Dendwaler.
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